Calgarians rally in support of Myanmar anti-coup protesters


Myanmar was bracing for a crackdown on anti-coup protests on Sunday after reports of tanks in the street and troop movements in the country's largest city amid fears of another nationwide internet blackout.

Groups of demonstrators turned out in Yangon and other cities on Tuesday to protest the coup and demand that Suu Kyi and members of her ousted government be freed from detention.

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi is at a "safer place" and "in good health", according to military spokesman Zaw Min Tun.

On Tuesday, however, her lawyer told journalists that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate had also been charged with violating Article 25 of the National Disaster Management Law.

Suu Kyi was initially accused of importing unregistered walkie-talkies, a charge widely viewed as a pretext for her arrest as the country's military junta consolidated power.

People participate in a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 15, 2021.

Tensions were rising in Myanmar on Monday after the military deployed armored vehicles to the streets of the country's largest city Yangon the previous night while also putting in place an internet blackout overnight.

Myanmar's military, officially known as the Tatmadaw, declared a state of emergency on February 1, hours after detaining President Win Myint, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, and other senior members of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

Myanmar's generals imposed a second straight overnight internet shutdown into Tuesday, ignoring global condemnation as they worked to grind down a popular uprising against their coup. Local media reported rubber bullets were fired into the crowd and that a few people were injured.

An armoured vehicle drives past the Sule Pagoda Sunday, following days of mass protests against the military coup.

Protesters in Yangon were met with military trucks full of troops, riot police, water-cannon trucks and armoured personnel carriers.

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Political leaders including Suu Kyi were detained in the wake of the coup. Thousands of defiant demonstrators have once again taken to the streets.

The junta, led by Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, said it was forced to step in because the government failed to properly investigate allegations of fraud in last year's election, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won in a landslide.

Protesters in Yangon again rallied outside the Chinese and US embassies.

The unrest has revived memories of bloody outbreaks of opposition to nearly half a century of direct army rule, which ended when the military began a process of withdrawing from civilian politics in 2011.

Although the council avoided the use of the word "coup" to describe the military takeover, it expressed "deep concern at the declaration of the state of emergency imposed in Myanmar by the military" and called for "the restoration of the democratically elected government".

Telenor, a Norwegian telecom service provider that operates in Myanmar, said it received a directive from Myanmar authorities to shut internet access for a period.

When he was asked about the detention of Nobel prize victor Ms Suu Kyi and the president, he said the military would abide by the constitution.

China and Russian Federation disassociated themselves from the consensus and said the coup was Myanmar's internal affair. "Remember, we don't swear at the police and don't sign anything at the police station", one student could be heard saying.

"Unity around the world is very important to not accept this coup", said Christine Schraner Burgener.

"She has conveyed to the Myanmar military that the world is watching closely, and any form of heavy-handed response is likely to have severe consequences".